HTML and CSS Reference
he next consideration is whether your website will need a content manage-
ment system to dynamically generate the web pages or whether your concepts
can be realized with a structure of hyperlinked iles.
Perhaps the primary purpose of your site is to provide content to people,
without restrictions and without any interaction from visitors. In that case,
building and maintaining the site as a collection of HTML iles is feasible and,
in many ways, a lot simpler. his type of site includes photo galleries, fan sites,
restaurant sites, sites covering issues and events, and the websites of many
governments. Running a content site is not that much diferent from oline
publishing. It is just easier and cheaper to use bits of data rather than atoms of
ink and paper. A content site can connect with other websites and services for
supplementary content such as news feeds, map and calendar widgets, and so
on, but, basically, it doesn't matter if the visitor is a dog.
On the other hand, if your intention is to interact with your website's visi-
tors, solicit their input, or provide a service to which they may subscribe, you
have a service website. his is a critical distinction. Running a site that ofers a
service or product means that you have many of the same responsibilities (and
challenges) as running a business, including production, marketing, sales, and,
most important, customer service. Running any kind of business is hard work.
It is true that you can run an online business from your kitchen table in your
pajamas, but this means that you are only at work from the time you get up in
the morning to the time you go to bed at night.
Most websites fall somewhere in between these two poles. A website that
primarily delivers content can handle interaction with visitors using email and
can carry advertising using third-party ad services and ailiate networks. And
a content website can sell products by oloading the payment and fulillment
aspects to third-party services. Running a top-end service website, on the
other hand, requires managing a mix of technologies, including databases and
It is important to know where your planned website sits on this continuum.
You need to understand whether your website is an informational content
site or an online business to plan for building and launching the website and
achieving your goals.